Eric Roberts' Weblog

lullabies for little criminals

lullabies for little criminals by Heather O’Neill had me from the first page. It is the first person story of 13 year-old Baby and her struggle to maintain her innocence in a world that wants to tear it away from her. Baby’s father is a heroin addict who lacks the temperament and discipline to be a good parent. Shuffling from apartment to apartment in Montreal, Baby has little in the way of a positive adult role model. Eventually she is noticed by Alphonse, a local pimp. Even as she becomes a prostitute, when not with clients her actions are those of a kid and she develops a romantic relationship with a classmate. That relationship with Xavier and the things they do together as kids juxtapose Baby’s interaction with the adult world of drug abuse and prostitution.

So thematically this is a book about coming of age. Like many books with adolescent protagonists, the adults Baby encounters cause more harm than good.

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